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Toro's Lesson

Living in the middle of the ocean

Application

God wants us to always tell the truth so that others will trust us.

Text

Luke 19:17.

 

The Enchanted Island:

Toro lived on an island in the middle of the ocean.  It was small and had beaches all around it and a rocky reef that inclosed a large lagoon.  Like all the islanders, Toro and his family lived in a hut with bamboo walls and a reed thatched roof.

Toro and his friends did not go to school because there were no schools on the island.  And so everyday he and his friends from the village would swim in the lagoon and practice diving to the bottom of the clear water.  Otherwise they would play in the sand or have races to see who could climb up a palm tree the fastest.

Father's Hurt!

Every day Toro's father set his fish traps before swimming out into deep water in the lagoon and diving for pearl shells.  If he was lucky, there would be one ot two pearls in the shells he collected.  He could trade these for goods from the schooner that came to the island every six months.

One day Toro heard loud shouting down by the beach.  He ran to where a crowd of people were gathered and to his horror he saw his father lying on the sand.  There was blood running from his head and he was lying so still that Toro thought he was dead.  "What happened?" gasped Toro.  "Your father was diving and a current must have bashed his head against a rock," replied an old man.

They carried Toro's father gently to the hut and laid him on his bed.   For two days he lay in a coma, but on the third day he opened his eyes.  His wife sighed with relief - but this soon turned to worry when they found that he couldn't move his arms or legs.  Toro's father was paralysed!  He had damaged nerves in his neck when he banged his head against the rock.

Man of the House:

"Toro, you are now the man of the house and you will have to collect coconuts and fish for our food," said Father.  Yes, Father," replied Toro excitedly, "You can trust me!"  And so for several days, he climbed palms and threw down coconuts and emptied the fish traps each evening.  He would take the catch home and husk the coconuts for their evening meal.

One day his father called, "Toro, you must lift the fish traps because there's a big storm coming."  Toro promised that he would and ran off to the beach.  All his friends were there and they wanted to dive for pearls.

Forgetting all that he had promised, Toro raced into the water with them and swam to where he knew there were many shells.  When he came up from a deep dive, he found the beach deserted.  And now the wind was blowing hard and dark threatening clouds scudded overhead.  So Toro swam to shore and hurried home as the wind began to roar around him.

The Fish Traps?

"Did you remember the fish traps, Toro?" asked Father anxiously.  "Oh no! I forgot!" stammered Toro, "I'll go and look now."  His father shook his head regretfully, "No, it's too late.  You'll be washed away and drowned.  I cannot lose my only son."   Toro shamefully hung his head as his mother and sisters looked accusingly at him.

"If we have lost our fish traps, then we will starve!" screamed his mother.  "Hush now," replied Father, "The Great God in the sky will help us."  But, Toro's mother did not believe in God and went about the hut banging things and muttering about sons that could not be trusted.

The Cyclone:

For three days the cyclone raged over the island and caused much damage.   At last the sun came out and the fierce wind died away.  "Go and see if our fish traps are alright," said Mother.  Toro ran to the beach and searched for the traps, but they were all gone!  Not a single one was left!  With a heavy heart he slowly walked home and told his parents the sad news.  "I told you he couldn't be trusted," cried his Mother, "And now we will starve to death!"

The situation was very serious.  Without fish traps they couldn't catch fish and all the coconuts had blown off the palms and were rotting on the ground.  Where would they find food?  Now they would starve and die!  "If only I had been trustworthy!" Toro thought, "And then none of this would have happened."

No Food!

Next morning he sat on the step with his head in his hands and stared at the storm damage all around.  "Toro!" called his father excitedly, "Come here!  I know what you can do!  The Missionary told me about the Great God and how His Son died so if we believe in Him, we can go to His home in the sky when we die."

Toro nodded hopefully.  He had listened to the Missionary and asked Jesus to be his Friend as well.  "Well, he left his fishing stick here.  Remember how he gave it to you and told you to grow tall and straight like it," said his father excitedly, "You can use it to catch fish and then we will be saved from starvation!"

"I will!" shouted Toro, "I'll show you that you can trust me!"  With that he dashed out of the hut before his mother could stop him.  He raced down to the beach and all the children came running to see this strange stick.   "What's that for?" they asked.  "It's a fishing stick!" he replied, "I am going to catch fish with it and feed my family!"

The Fishing Stick:

The children rolled around with laughter as Toro struggled to throw the hook into the water and the line became tangled around his neck.  With a red face he pulled the line away.  Toro bowed his head and whispered, "Great God in the sky, please help me catch a fish.  Just one will do because I'm so hungry!"

Ignoring the laughter around him, Toro shouted, "I'm going to grow tall and straight like this fishing stick!  And the Great God in the sky is going to help me catch fish for my family!"

He examined the fishing stick with a puzzled frown on his face.  How did this strange thing work!  He swung the rod and to the villagers astonishment the hook flew far out into the water!  All of a sudden the line jerked and he gave a great yell and began to reel in the line as fast as he could.

But he struggled as there was a monster on his hook!  The people gasped as he drew out a truly colossal fish.  It was huge!  They had never seen such a big fish before since they only caught small fish in their traps.  This fish was big enough to feed a family for days!

The Great Fisherman:

Toro proudly carried the fish home followed by his sisters who were only too pleased to be allowed to carry the precious fishing stick.  "Look!" he shouted, "The Great God has helped me catch a fish!"  And so Toro's mother and many of the villagers came to trust and believe in God.

Toro became a great fisherman and even sold fish to the villagers.  He did grow straight and tall like the fishing stick.  One day he came to his mother and father and exclaimed, "Now you can trust me.  The Great God in the Sky has made me completely trustworthy!!"

Being Trustworthy:

Yes, Toro had to learn a hard lesson before he became trustworthy.  God also wants each one of us to grow straight and tall, and always tell the truth so that others will trust us.  In Luke 19:17, the Bible says:

"Well done, my good servant!" his master replied,
"Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter.

I hope you will remember this story and make sure that you are trustworthy.  I'm looking forward to Jesus welcoming me into Heaven with these words, "Well done you good and faithful servant - enter into your rest."  I hope you will hear them too!

God bless.
 

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